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Has anyone's husband retired and does nothing but watch tv? Do you almost despise him?

Started 1295197971.66 in Viewpoints | Last reply 1295560156.29 by KathyPet

When I was home not working or even working part time I did everything around the house. He had to do nothing but chew his own food but now the tables are turned and he is retired and does nothing at home but watch tv and sit on his fat butt playing computer games. He said he was going to get a part time job but I now believe he will never work again. I work 30 hours at least a week and stand on my feet all day and when I come home and the place is dirty I could just scream and get into a bad mood and start yelling. He has no friends, very little family and no hobbies and is overweight and has a neck injury. We went to two retirement seminars and the speaker said that he has known people who have been married many many years who get a divorce when the husband retires. I now know what they mean. I have no alone time at home and the tv is blaring all the time. If I could do it financially I would be out of here. Anyone else have this problem?

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happy hous­ewife1295198432.9834389 PostsRegistered 1/4/2007

If he has a neck injury it very well may be that he is very weak and can't clean your house for you. Have you sat down and CALMLY tried to discuss this with him? Is this injury why he retired? Do you have any idea what it is like to be handicapped and not be able to do the things you enjoy doing? Maybe he is depressed. You don't seem very understanding or compassionate. It sounds to me like this was a marriage that was tettering on the edge of failure anyway.It also occures to me that perhaps you are jealous because for years you stayed at home but now you must work and he is home. It is too bad you had to actually had to pick up the wand and go out to work but I'm betting you remind him of it everyday.

When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticism or misguided opinions walking away is the best way to defend yourself.To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude. -Dodinsky

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Love Roses1295198751.4211939 PostsRegistered 1/10/2007

Geez. You didn't point out any real obvious or good qualities about your husband.

I could never despise my husband - I know him and appreciate and admire him.

Never Forget - The Native American Indian Holocausts!

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donasmom1295198843.0033174 PostsRegistered 4/21/2006

I am sorry you are going through this. I retired from teaching about 2 years ago, and it is an adjustment. I can feel your anger and resentment coming right through this post. And, I don't blame you. I would resent working all day long only to come home to a mess. That said, have you thought about giving him a list with 1 or 2 things to do a day? Have you spoken (not yelled) to him about what is going on? I know that, for me, I just expect my DH to know what I want. Alas, not the fact. When I ask him to do something or tell him how I feel or what is going on with me, he responds. Finally, and I say this as a marriage counselor in a past life, if he does something around the house, don't critique it and say what is wrong the way he does it. This was the #1 reason husbands gave me for not doing things around the house. They would do something and then be told "that's not the way to do it".

Given your mentioning divorce and using words like "fat butt" are there other things going on as well?

Last edited on 1/16/2011

Last edited on 1/16/2011

Formally vicosmom

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barbados1295198910.614405 PostsRegistered 5/21/2007

I never did understand why anybody would air their dirty laundry on this forum. Look at the responses you've gotten so far. If you were looking for sympathy, you're barking up the wrong tree on posting your personal problems on this fourm.

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BlueCollar­Babe1295198922.94311599 PostsRegistered 9/26/2007

I think that when two people are busy working and raising kids and maybe looking after aging parents, their time with each other is minimal. As they age, and especially if one or both retire, they're suddenly spending a lot more time with this person who may not be the same as when they were young or is maybe more so.

The bottom line is that if your husband never helped around the house and was a do-nothing loner all his life, he's not going to change. You'll drive yourself crazy, and him too, trying to make it happen.

Do what needs to be done as far as keeping your home neat but don't obsess about it and pursue your own interests. If all he cares about is the TV, he probably won't notice whether you're there or not. I know some people are going to say that maybe he's depressed. That is always a possibility but it's also possible that he is very happy with the way things are. You did imply that he's always been a bit dull.

The logistics of ending a long term marriage are daunting and you'll probably both end up poor which is no fun especially when you're older. Leave him to his TV and games and live your own life. Try to be happy.

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kitkom1295199076.2175646 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

OP I'd LOVE to hear your dh's opinion of you! {#emotions_dlg.thumbup1}

"Happiness is Lake Charlevoix!"

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dreamytoo1295199145.4932070 PostsRegistered 11/21/2007

Retirement is a very difficult adjustment for anyone. I have been in your shoes...my DH retired 2 1/2 years ago - he was young, not even 60 yet. His personality changed when he retired, he was grumpy all the time, just sat here with the tv blasting day in and day out. He said he would get a part time job after retirement, but then had no desire to do so. Believe me, I was going crazy...I could not work outside the home, I am caring for elderly parents. He did finally get a part time job about 8 or 9 months later, it has been a God send for both of us. He now admits he had lost his sense of purpose after he retired, he did not know what to do with himself.

Please try to be patient (I know it's hard to do)...give yourselves both time to adjust.

ETA: I too made the mistake of posting about my struggle here...Until someone has experienced it, they have no right to make any snap judgements! Retirement is life changing for both, and it is not always a positive change.

Last edited on 1/16/2011

Last edited on 1/16/2011

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ratdog1111295199251.5914924 PostsRegistered 10/27/2008

I know it sounds silly but ....

Does your Dh KNOW how to clean?

My Dh was in medical school before he learned how to even do his laundry the right way (meaning not force it all into a single load in the washer)

Over time he has learned how to be more helpful in household chores that he never had to worry about while living at home and going home most weekends during school.

Maybe your DH needs to be taught what to do during the day because he has never had to do it before?

Start small and work up. Ask (and I emphasize ASK not Tell) him to do one or two things for you while you are at work. It might be as simple as wash and fold the towels please, or empty the dishwashe please.

Rather than criticize and despise, teach him what he needs to know.

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4bellarose1295199368.507995 PostsRegistered 10/10/2009

Nope. My husband is retired and if he wants to watch TV all day he can. He gave us a wonderful life. He worked...I didn't. So if that is what he wants to do...good for him.:)

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cherry1295199428.57316348 PostsRegistered 1/8/2005

You must feel very desperate to post something like this..I am sorry for you both

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Maggie Nol­ia1295199480.62314669 PostsRegistered 1/30/2006
On 1/16/2011 chiclet said:

He had to do nothing but chew his own food



Buzzards fly in packs. Eagles soar alone.

Pray for the USA.

"Let's roll." ~ Todd Beamer, 9/11/01.

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4bellarose1295199537.68995 PostsRegistered 10/10/2009

Marriage counseling might be in order.

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Burnsite1295199679.2838037 PostsRegistered 7/31/2007

I am no expert, but just in case this is helpful.... have you thought that maybe your husband is depressed? Especially if he is experiencing a lot of pain with the disability you mentioned? It's not going to get better all by itself if he is depressed.

Maybe at his next doctor visit, you can go together and discuss this? Medicine can help.

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kelseygirl1295200285.4031225 PostsRegistered 6/2/2009

Give her a break. She's mad an she's not going to take it anymore! That's how she feels I imagine & she's venting. He needs a good kick in the butt don't let him get into that lazy habit. Hire a cleaning service, so he has to go out when they come. I'd give him TV dinners, you're to tired to cook maybe that will snap him out of it.


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RedTop1295200299.8375465 PostsRegistered 9/1/2010


I understand exactly where you're coming from with this. My husband lost his job last February, and due to progression of his health issues, he will not be able to return to work. I work part-time, with no intention of going back to full-time hours.

My husband and I have been married close to 40 years, and he has always been a helper around the house. He is very willing to help, but needs direction. Since he does not comprehend the same way I do, I knew my request for him to "keep the house clean", was too broad for him to understand in the way I meant it. Therefore, to avoid the exact issue you're facing, I assigned him specific duties that he does weekly. His standing assignment is floor care, and dusting, which he does without fail. In our circumstances, this means he has to swiffer 5 rooms, and mop the kitchen and dining room---weekly. I usually start washing a load of towels before I leave for work once a week, and ask him to dry and fold them, which he does without complaint. He is also good to wash the sheets from our bed once a week---and that is the extent of what he's allowed to do as far as laundry. I always come home to cooked food, but again, I have to direct him in what I want him to cook. Last week he cooked pot roast (from scratch), mashed potatoes, green beans, and rolls for dinner; I absolutely could not have made a tastier meal myself! It was absolutely wonderful. This meal was the most I've ever tested him in the last year; I usually stick to simpler things like hamburgers and baked fries, but I try to push him gently to increase his abilities, without making him feel like I'm dumping too much on him.

I understand your dilemna if your husband is not used to helping, and the frustration you feel about going to work and then coming home to more work. My suggestion is to start with a simple discussion and find out what he's willing, and capable of doing, and then work from there. Start with something very simple and build him up gradually. I know my husband naps in his recliner several times through the day, and our TV is always on, but I also know he has a serious health condition, so I don't expect him to take care of every single cleaning need at home. Mainly, I have worked to raise his awareness of what needs to be taken care of regularly, and have just asked for some help. He realizes I can't do it all, and that I don't expect him to do it all, but between the two of us we can manage to keep the house very clean and up to our expectations.

Best of luck to you!

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doxiemom 41295200658.9827472 PostsRegistered 12/30/2008NJ-FL

I am sorry for what is going on.......Maybe you need to have a honey do list for him each day.

Try and sit down and talk about it....Saying you work a full time job and you need help around the house, as you are home all day long.

I think talking to him about it, is the best answer and give him a list of things you would like him to help with.

Good Luck

Holly Noel 7/11/97 1/22/11 RIP My Sweet Angel
Annie Oakley 12/7/00 - 8/26/12, Another Angel.

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BonnieBelle1295200848.49320116 PostsRegistered 4/13/2007

This would drive me crazy. My husband does this now and he works but when he's home he takes over the house lounging on the couch with the tv blasting. I tell him all the time I am not retiring with him because I will kill him.

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Luv2Decora­te1295201035.866771 PostsRegistered 5/2/2008Floating on Lake Michigan
On 1/16/2011 doxiemom 4 said:

I am sorry for what is going on.......Maybe you need to have a honey do list for him each day.

Try and sit down and talk about it....Saying you work a full time job and you need help around the house, as you are home all day long.

I think talking to him about it, is the best answer and give him a list of things you would like him to help with.

Good Luck

ITA, then when he does something you've requested, praise the daylights out of him!{#emotions_dlg.w00t}

This reminds me of kids when we are trying to teach them what to do. Eventually he'll get it. I bet it's frustrating though...{#emotions_dlg.blink}

God is Great, Beer is Good and People are Crazy.

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guatmum1295201068.092977 PostsRegistered 10/24/2008

I just wanted to say I'm sorry you are in this situation. My mom dealt with the same thing and, now that they are both much older, my dad is fully disabled and depends on my mom for everything. She is angry that what might be the last years of her life will be spent this way. She always was the housekeeper and that never changed once my dad was home full time. I don't know of a marriage that hasn't turned out this way to some degree. Men tend to go from the ones who need to feel they are the strong ones to the ones who need to be cared for. I don't have any answers for you. It's the biggest reason why I decided to build my own life and become a mom on my own. I've had many ask what will happen when there is no one there to take care of me in my old age. I always ask them to tell me of the marriages they know where the man is there to take care of his wife when she is elderly. Most cannot site a single one. The ones that can are an exception.

Just know you are not alone. I'm sure there are many that can sympathize with you. Make your life as easy as you can by doing things like ordering in, hiring a cleaning lady if you can afford to, and, if you can't afford these kinds of luxuries, clean a space in your home for YOU and let him maintain his own space the way he feels is best. Good luck.

"Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame

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Subject1295201193.87711269 PostsRegistered 2/24/2007

my husband works 6 days a week- 12 hours a day at his job. God Bless him when he retires that he does WHATEVER HE DAMM WELL PLEASES!


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RedConvert­ibleGirl1295201230.29315007 PostsRegistered 9/3/2005Pacific NW

I totally understand the resentment. Even with a neck injury - unless he's totally incapacitated - he can do SOMETHING.

Have you asked him to do things, given him a list of things to do? He might be depressed, or he could just be lazy. He needs something to get him up and moving and not just sitting around all day. That's not good for him physically or mentally.

And I really relate to never having any alone time. All too well. sigh

When we shoulder the mantle of compassion no cry goes unheard and no wound goes unhealed. In this world of seemingly endless suffering we have to believe that no one is beyond hope of rescue. Scotlund Haisley, Animal Rescue Corps

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qvcaddicti­on1295201243.766317 PostsRegistered 6/30/2007

These forums are not safe to air anything. If it's a positive, they will ridacule you anyway.

It never use to be this way, but people have gotten pretty rude and mean out there. I find not just the forums, but people you thought were real friends, will use your words against you in the real world. I never use to practice this phase, but I do now, it's called, "Keep your own councel". Too bad, because we all need someone to speak with and can't afford the high price of councelors, and a lot of them have their own problems I discovered.

Every once in awhile I still comment on here and when I get slammed, I don't for awhile. You usually get slammed when you are pouring your heart out like you just did, too bad. You are just venting and need somewhere to vent. Not safe on these forums. Good luck. He won't change. You have to change, lol, like a councelor would tell you. No charge.

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------1295201256.80318558 PostsRegistered 2/13/2008
On 1/16/2011 chiclet said:

If I could do it financially I would be out of here.

You mean you would divorce?

you mad bro?

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4bellarose1295201320.643995 PostsRegistered 10/10/2009
On 1/16/2011 newport said:

my husband works 6 days a week- 12 hours a day at his job. God Bless him when he retires that he does WHATEVER HE DAMM WELL PLEASES!

That is how I feel too! My husband and I do just that!:)

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Subject1295201496.4611269 PostsRegistered 2/24/2007
On 1/16/2011 4bellarose said:
On 1/16/2011 newport said:

my husband works 6 days a week- 12 hours a day at his job. God Bless him when he retires that he does WHATEVER HE DAMM WELL PLEASES!

That is how I feel too! My husband and I do just that!:)



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